This is primarily an educational project and has relevance to students from many subjects from music and music-related subjects to (for the lyrics) English, history, politics and international relations, and Spanish. Taking part in this project also allows schools to put on the musical free of charge and provides opportunities for drama and dance students to be involved.
As well as giving a brief overview of the key events, characters and issues in the plot summary, once the student chooses which song to work on, he/she will have access to a wealth of resources and information about that particular topic. They can choose just to read the broad outline, or they can dig deeper and follow the links to do more detailed research on a particular aspect. The task of selecting and condensing this information into lyrics enables students to develop useful skills in summarizing information, and also requires them to fully process the information, thus enabling deeper learning.
Teachers could allocate each student a song theme or some scenes to write a song about. The script is currently about four times longer than it needs to be. This is in order to provide enough material to develop lyrics. There may be cases where one musical number can cover the information in several scenes and replace the script. So the final script will depend upon which songs are chosen and what is covered in the lyrics.
Each student should also write a paragraph describing the rationale for their song and what it is intended to convey. This requires an element of reflection on behalf of the student which again enables deeper learning, and also provides useful information for the judges. As an educator you can adjust the remit provided for this paragraph to suit your educational aims. But when submitting the paragraph please be aware that this will be visible to the judges. You may choose to set a longer assignment for the reflection and rationale for the song to your students for educational purposes and ask for a condensed summary just for the submission process. For example a History teacher may ask students to write about how lyrics reflect a specific event or issue covered in the curriculum. Similarly an English teacher might want the student to show how they have included various linguistic features in the lyrics. However for those that are chosen to be submitted on the website, the accompanying paragraph should be no more than 200 words.
For an example paragraph for the lyrics click here
For an example paragraph for the music click here
Submissions: include about 75-150 words explaining the rationale for the lyrics and a separate paragraph (about 75-150 words) explaining the musical tone and style. If you are entering into the misc category allow an extra 50 words or so to explain how it might fit into the overall plot.
Choosing songs: how you choose/allocate songs is up to you. However where possible try to ensure that not all students are doing the same song so that we do not end up with hundreds of submissions for one song, and none for another. We will offer you the opportunity to indicate which songs are being worked on, and provide a running tab so you can see the relative level of interest. If you choose a song that has fewer submissions, there is a greater likelihood of winning the category.
Educational Support: Teaching support and help creating the score from an expert in composition may be available depending on where you are based, click here for details.